…unting numbers are stronger and more is required of him with far less help. I’m not making excuses. Curry has been better. But Harden has been very good too, and while he’s had two or three pretty high profile flame outs, …
Thanks for making my point.
Even using the Houston playoff years, Harden’s win shares per 48 are significantly lower than Curry, while his net rating is only +2.0, compared to Curry’s +11.0.
You keep making these arguments about future possible outcomes, but until those outcomes happen, there’s no way he should be the #1 pick ahead of Curry.
With regard to those future outcomes, Houston is positioned to be in cap space hell for the next two years. As Chris Paul ages and declines, their playoff possibilities will continue shrinking. By the time the Rockets get out from under the Chris Paul contract, Harden will be 33. Only Kareem, MJ and Malone won an MVP Award past the age of 32. Very few players continue to play at their highest levels after the age of 33. So he has a very small window to win a title.
For now, Harden will be remembered as one of the ultimate empty stat guys, and a guy how failed to show up in the most crucial moments during the playoffs. That argument won’t change unless he wins multiple championships, for the same reason so many people say Jordan is the GOAT, regardless of what LeBron does statistically.